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From Surrender to Success

Tyrone M. is a 36-year-old African American single father of a child who grew up on the west-side of Chicago and dropped out of high school in the 10th grade. However, he obtained his GED and completed at least one year of vocational training while he was incarcerated in the Federal Bureau of Prison.  He was referred by the Salvation Army’s Pathway Forward Re-Entry program, to approach the Chicago Urban League about enrolling in the Training to Work program. He was seeking vocational training and career placement service.

Tyrone began selling drugs on the corner in his early teens. He moved up in the drug trade while on the streets, and he became a high volume drug distributor on the west-side of Chicago.  He was convicted of Conspiracy with intent to deliver and possession of Crack Cocaine.  He served a total of 108 months in the Federal Bureau of Prison and was transferred to the Salvation Army Halfway House, and three years’ probation after release from the Salvation Army halfway house.

Tyrone enrolled in the Urban Re-Entry Jobs Program (URJP) to gain additional education, job skilled training, employment placement assistance to obtain employment that pays a living wage with benefits, and has a clearly defined career path. When he in enrolled in the program he did not have a resume, limited previous professional work experience, and he was troubled about his criminal background being a deterrent to procuring meaningful employment. Tyrone stated that peer to peer mentoring provided him the needed assistance to stay focused and work on the process of making a complete transformation of his life and not returning to his old life.

He attended the 10-day “Success Strategies” job preparedness workshop, and he enjoyed being a student in class.  He has an updated professional resume, has strengthened his interviewing and presentation skills, and he enrolled and completed a 12-weeks CDL A License Truck driver classes at Olive-Harvey College and attained his trucking driving license. Case Manager Patrick Colbert has been instrumental part in his transformation. Patrick not only encouraged Tyrone when difficulties came his way, but also counseled him and helped him navigate through the adjustment he had to make to achieve his career goals.

With the help of the Urban League, Tyrone is currently employed as a Truck Driver for J&R Schugel’s Trucking company.